This may sound funny to you but for years, I thought that kombucha was rotting cabbage, placed in the ground to ferment and then somehow transformed into liquid form for consumption. I’m not quite sure where I got that distorted notion from, but it was part of my belief system until I met someone at a party a few month back who was sipping it gracefully.
Always curious, I started asking a few questions and I learned that kombucha is NOT rotting cabbage placed in the ground to ferment. instead, it’s black tea and sugar that ferments to a delicious and healthy drink. WHO KNEW??
I was curious, so I tried it and it was surprisingly good. So good, that I actually bought some a few days later. The flavor is sweet and tangy with a touch of fizz. Store bought kombucha comes in a variety of flavors so there is likely something out there for everyone.
I did some research and learned that f has been around for over 2000 years and that there are significant health benefits to drinking it regularly. Likely because of the SCOBY - that’s the symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (a SCOBY) which is what causes the fermentation. Some of the benefits include:
Detoxification: One of kombucha’s greatest health benefits is its ability to detox the body. It is rich in many of the enzymes and bacterial acids your body produces and/or uses to detox your system, this reducing your pancreatic load and easing the burden on your liver. Kombucha is very high in Glucaric acid, and recent studies have shown that glucaric acid helps prevent cancer. (Food Renegade)
Joint Care: Kombucha is also great for joint care. It contains glucosamines which helps treat and prevent all forms of arthritis. It also helps reduce wrinkles (bonus!)
Because it is fermented, it’s a probiotic, it helps with gastrointestinal issues.
It’s known to improve mental health and fight dangerous bacterial infections
It can help manage diabetes, protect your liver and your heart.
One of the coolest things about kombucha is that you can actually make it at home. I know this, because the friend who initiated me into the world of kombucha moved a few weeks ago and I was the proud recipient of her SCOBY and kombucha maker. I will admit that I was absolutely terrified to make it. It’s LIVE BACTERIA! What if I did it wrong and actually created an eColi death drink?
After much reassurance and a lot of research, I learned that it was a relatively simple process and that I would be just fine. To make it, you need:
1 Gallon Distilled Water
5 Kombucha green (or black) tea bags
1 cup sugar
1 large glass tub/jar with a tight fitting cap
A towel to drape over the mouth of the jar (under the cap)
The SCOBY (which you can purchase online or at a local health food store)
I boiled the water, added the tea bags and the sugar and let them steep for several hours. Then I added the tea into the large jar (which contained the SCOBY), draped the towel over the mouth of the jar and put the lid on firmly. I waited 10 days and voila!! KOMBUCHA!
I wound up adding a few tablespoons of pomegranate juice to add a little more flavor. I’m excited that I was able to create this in my home and reap the health benefits. We made a few batches and they were delicious. But, with my work schedule, I decided that it was best to buy it, rather than make it.
Your local grocery store should have some bottled kombucha available for purchase. I suggest trying it before you invest in the home grown option. However, if you want to live on the wild side, start fermenting at home. It's quite an experience!
Bee healthy. Bee happy.